Friday, May 17, 2024

When Blood Glucose Levels Are Low

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Tests And Diagnosis For Prediabetes

How To Treat Low Blood Glucose Levels

Your doctor will do at least one of these tests:

Fasting plasma glucose test. You wonât eat for 8 hours, and then a technician will take your blood to test the sugar levels. The results are:

  • Normal if your blood sugar is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter
  • Prediabetes if your blood sugar is 100 to 125 mg/dL
  • Diabetes if your blood sugar is 126 mg/dL or higher

Oral glucose tolerance test. First, youâll have a fasting plasma glucose test. Then, youâll drink something sugary. Two hours after that, a technician will take and test more blood. The results are:

  • Normal if your blood sugar is less than 140 mg/dL after the second test
  • Prediabetes if your blood sugar is 140 to 199 mg/dL after the second test
  • Diabetes if your blood sugar is 200 mg/dL or higher after the second test

Hemoglobin A1c test. This blood test shows your average blood sugar levels for the past 2 to 3 months. Doctors give it to people who have diabetes to see if their blood sugar levels are under control. They can also use it to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes. The results are:

  • Normal if itâs 5.6% or less
  • Prediabetes if itâs 5.7 to 6.4%
  • Diabetes if itâs 6.5% or above

You may need to take the test again to confirm the results.

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Treatment By Family Friends Or Co

Family, friends, and co-workers of those with hypoglycemia are often first to identify hypoglycemic episodes, and may offer help. Upon recognizing the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia in a diabetic, a blood sugar level should first be measured using a glucose meter. If blood glucose is below 70 mg/dL , treatment will depend on whether the person is conscious and can swallow safely. If the person is conscious and able to swallow, the family, friend, or co-worker can help the hypoglycemic consume 10-20 grams of a carbohydrate to raise blood glucose levels to a minimum of 70 mg/dL . Improvement in blood sugar level and symptoms is expected to occur in 1520 minutes, at which point blood sugar is measured again. If the repeat blood sugar level is not above 70 mg/dL , the hypoglycemic should consume another 10-20 grams of a carbohydrate and with remeasurement of blood sugar levels after 1520 minutes. Repeat until blood glucose levels have returned to normal levels, or call emergency services for further assistance.

If the person is unconscious, a glucagon kit may be used to treat severe hypoglycemia, which delivers glucagon either by injection into a muscle or through nasal inhalation. In the United States, glucacon kits are available by prescription for diabetic patients to carry in case of an episode of severe hypoglycemia. Emergency services should be called for further assistance.

How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia

You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:

  • Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
  • Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
  • Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
  • Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
  • Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.

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What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

If you are at risk for diabetes or prediabetes, ask your healthcare provider:

  • What is my blood sugar level?
  • What steps can I take to lower my blood sugar level?
  • How often should I get my blood sugar checked?
  • What else can I do to prevent Type 2 diabetes?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Prediabetes is a common condition. It means your blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be considered diabetes. You may not have any prediabetes symptoms. Its important to talk to your healthcare provider about getting regular blood tests, including an A1C test, especially if youre high risk.

The good news is that you can reverse prediabetes. Losing weight and exercising, along with other lifestyle changes, can bring your blood sugar levels back to a healthy range. Talk to your healthcare provider about how you can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/25/2021.

References

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How Do You Treat Hypoglycemia

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Low blood sugar levels happen when theres too little glucose left in the bloodstream to continue supplying fuel to your organs, muscles, and tissues. It most often occurs when you dont eat enough food, especially carb-containing foods, given your blood-sugar-lowering medications and physical activity levels, ONeill says. Levels can decrease gradually or suddenly.

When the amount of glucose in the bloodstream drops to too-low levels, the body reacts by releasing epinephrine, also called adrenaline or the fight or flight hormone. Epinephrine revs your heart rate and can cause sweating, shaking, anxiety, and irritability. If not enough glucose is able to reach the brain, the result may be difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, and slurred speech. In extreme cases, a lack of glucose within the brain can lead to seizures, coma, and even death, she says.

People with low glucose levels can use the ADAs 15-15 Rule, which advises people consume 15 g of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and check their levels again. If the number is still low, repeat until reaching at least 70 mg/dL.

You can find 15 g of carbs in:

  • 1 slice of bread
  • Three to four hard candies
  • Glucose tablets as indicated on the label
  • Glucose gel as indicated on the label

Once your glucose levels are back to normal, the ADA suggests going ahead and eating your next scheduled meal or snack, which will help prevent levels from dropping again.

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Symptoms Signs Causes Of Levels Of High Blood Sugar In The Blood

High blood sugar or hyperglycemia is an abnormally high blood sugar level in the blood. Hyperglycemia is a hallmark sign of diabetes and prediabetes.

Signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia include blurred vision, headaches, hunger, and …

The normal ranges for blood sugar levels in adults who do not have diabetes while fasting are 72-99 mg/dL. These ranges may increase to 80-130 mg/dL for those being treated for diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should have

  • blood sugar levels of 80-130 mg/dL before eating a meal , and
  • less than 180 mg/dL about 1-2 hours after eating a meal

High blood sugar ranges for people who dont have diabetes begin at 140 mg/dL, while those being treated for diabetes have a high range beginning at 180 mg/dL.

Following Have Been Through A Period Of Illness/infection

If you have been through a period of illness or infection in which you had to increase your insulin doses and start to develop low blood glucose levels, it is quite likely that this could a result of your body having fought off the infection.

Hypos may occur during illness as well if you overestimate the insulin your body needs.

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Treating Low Blood Glucose If You Take Medicines That Slow Down Digestion

Some diabetes medicines slow down the digestion of carbohydrates to keep blood glucose levels from rising too high after you eat. If you develop low blood glucose while taking these medicines, you will need to take glucose tablets or glucose gel right away. Eating or drinking other sources of carbohydrates wont raise your blood glucose level quickly enough.

Learn To Manage Your Stress

Low Blood Sugar Level Key to Losing Weight

We all have stress. However, some people can manage it better than others. Personally, Im a Type-A, and Ive had to work hard and learn ways to manage stress.

Chronic stress takes a toll on your immune system. It makes you more likely to contract a cold or flu, or even develop a chronic autoimmune disease. Stress also raises your cortisol levels, which in turn raises your blood sugar. Its a major cause of high fasting blood sugars.

To manage stress, try any or all of these things:

  • Yoga or tai chi
  • Meditation
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Use adaptogenic herbs like Tulsi or one of my favorites Ashwagandha

Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help your body adapt to various types of stressors. They have long been used in Ayurvedic medicine. Tulsi is one of my favorites and it happens to be another ingredient in Herbaly Wellness Collection tea. Tulsi been shown to enhance your immune system, reduce cortisol levels, and improve blood sugar.

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Preventing Low Blood Sugar

Preventing low blood sugar is better than having to treat it. Always have a source of fast-acting sugar with you.

  • When you exercise, check your blood sugar levels. Make sure you have snacks with you.
  • Talk to your provider about reducing insulin doses on days that you exercise.
  • Ask your provider if you need a bedtime snack to prevent low blood sugar overnight. Protein snacks may be best.

DO NOT drink alcohol without eating food. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day and men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. Family and friends should know how to help. They should know:

  • The symptoms of low blood sugar and how to tell if you have them.
  • How much and what kind of food they should give you.
  • When to call for emergency help.
  • How to inject glucagon, a hormone that increases your blood sugar. Your provider will tell you when to use this medicine.

If you have diabetes, always wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace. This helps emergency medical workers know you have diabetes.

Nighttime Low Blood Sugars

You may experience a low blood sugar night. The low blood sugar might wake you up and your symptoms might be similar to those you have during the day. However, the symptoms may be different. You might have nightmares, sleep poorly, perspire, or feel hot and cold. In the morning you may have a headache, feel nauseated, or feel confused. Notify your doctor if this happens. Check your blood sugar at the time you have the symptoms.

Treatment for a low blood sugar that occurs at night is the same as described earlier.

Your doctor may request that you check a 3:00 a.m. blood sugar 1 to 2 times per week in order to detect any low blood sugars during the night.

Disclaimer: This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.

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Treating An Episode Of Hypoglycaemia

The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some sugary food or drink to end the attack.

For example, this could be:

  • a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
  • between three and five dextrose tablets
  • a handful of sweets

At first you should avoid fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk, because they don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they do contain may be absorbed more slowly.

After having something sugary, you should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.

It will usually take around 15 minutes to recover from a mild episode of hypoglycaemia. If you have a blood glucose meter, measure your blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low , you should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing your levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.

When treating someone else with hypoglycaemia, if the above treatment isn’t effective, you may be able to help them by applying glucose gel to the inside of their cheeks, and gently massaging the outside of their cheeks.

It may take 10 to 15 minutes before they feel better. This shouldn’t be done if the person is drowsy or unconscious because of the risk of choking.

Factors That Affect Blood Glucose Levels

Hypoglycemia Low Blood Sugar in Adults
  • Physical activity: Physical activity can influence insulin affectability for as long as 48 hours which can prompt lower glucose over time. Sugar levels can at first can rise following a short burst of activity. Nonetheless, not doing any activity can prompt high blood glucose levels.
  • Food, drink, and illness: Tiredness, food, and alcohol can lead to blood glucose levels. However, people are surprised also those proteins can also affect the blood glucose level. It also affects carbohydrates. After stopped drinking, alcohol continues effect for several hours.
  • Where do you inject?: If insulin is absorbed faster then it can affect quickly in different parts of the body. When it is injected into lumpy skin, the effects are absorbed quickly also.
  • Medications and conditions: Pregnancy, menstrual cycle, and other medications can affect your blood glucose level. However, missing out on a medication dose or irregular injecting can leads to fluctuating glucose levels.
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    When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

    Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.

    The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.

    How To Support Your Immune System When You Have Diabetes

    This post is sponsored by Herbaly Tea. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means I earn from qualifying purchases and no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting this website! always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting brands I use and love.

    If you have diabetes, you may have noticed that your health care provider keeps a closer eye on your health. Theres a good reason for that. Diabetes affects your immune system, and your your immune system regulates your health and well-being. Its like a military defense system that protects your body from foreign invaders.

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    Risk Of High Blood Sugar

    • Not utilizing sufficient insulin or oral diabetes medications
    • Not injecting insulin appropriately or utilizing expired insulin
    • Avoiding or not following your diabetes eating plan
    • Being inactive
    • Having a disease or infection
    • Utilizing certain prescriptions, like steroids
    • Being harmed or having a surgery

    No Symptoms Be Alarmed

    Symptoms of low blood glucose and how to spot it

    Surprisingly, the most dangerous episodes of hypoglycemia occur with little or no warning. When low blood glucose occurs on a regular basis, the body can become used to the warning signs and the person may stop noticing symptoms. This is a particularly dangerous condition known as hypoglycemic unawareness. People with this condition might not realize they have low blood glucose until it’s dangerously low seizures and coma are sometimes the first indication of a problem. The good news is that this condition can often be reversed allowing people to once again notice the signs of low blood glucose if hypoglycemia is avoided for a few weeks through careful monitoring of blood glucose.

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    What Causes Hypoglycemia In A Child

    Hypoglycemia can be a condition by itself. Or it can be a complication of diabetes or other disorder. Its most often a problem in someone with diabetes. It occurs when theres too much insulin. This is also called an insulin reaction.

    Causes in children with diabetes may include:

    • Too much insulin or oral diabetes medicine

    • The wrong kind of insulin

    • Incorrect blood-glucose readings

    • Tingling feelings around the mouth

    • Seizure

    • Nightmares and confusion on awakening

    The symptoms of hypoglycemia can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycaemia

    Symptoms of mild to moderate hypoglycaemia may include one or more of the following:

    • looking pale
    • rapid change in behaviour or irritability
    • confusion
    • blurred vision.

    Over time you come to recognise the feelings you get when your blood glucose goes low. However, if you have had diabetes for a long time, you may not get any symptoms when your blood glucose goes low.

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    How Do I Check My Blood Sugar

    Checking your blood sugar is simple and can be done at home with the right equipment. The most traditional and effective way of doing so is with a glucose meter. You wash your hands to wash away germs, prick your finger with a needle, apply the blood from the pricked finger to a test strip and insert it into the machine. Your blood sugar level will appear on the meters display.

    Alternatively, there are a few modern methods that have been developed. They show results but are considered not to be as accurate as glucose meters.

    Want to hear our thoughts on blood sugar levels? Lets jump into the conclusion:

    Low Blood Sugar Level Causes

    Coconut Sweetener: Blood Glucose Levels Chart

    Most low blood sugar level causes are preventable and are caused due to a persons lifestyle and diet habits. Low blood sugar is common among diabetic patients who take medications to increase insulin levels.

    All of the above causes are risk factors that may or may not be able to be inhibited. They are important to be aware of and act accordingly to keep yourself from getting a too high or too low blood sugar level.

    If a person has medical, lifestyle or diet habits that cause irregular blood sugar levels, symptoms will begin to develop along with the drop or spike in blood sugar, and are as follows:

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